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Final Report: Closing data gaps and paving the way for pan-European fire safety efforts

The Final Report concludes that due to the lack of common terminology or variables with a similar nomenclature covering different aspects, fire statistics and data cannot always be compared between countries. This hinders e.g., effective cross-learning about successful fire safety interventions. To develop a comprehensive evaluation, this research has identified fourteen variables that should be recorded in fire statistics as a priority.

1) Number of fatalities
2) Number of injuries
3) Incident location
4) Incident date
5) Incident time
6) Age of fatalities
7) Primary causal factor
8) Type of building
9) Number of floors
10)Area of origin
11)Heat source
12)Articles contributing to fire development
13)Item first ignited
14)Fire safety measures present

The research also focused on providing definitions and values for each variable. The proposed terminology constitutes a minimum dataset for collection at the local level and does not prevent a fire department or national authority from utilizing also more detailed data collection so as long as they can provide simplified data according to the terminology of the pan-European statistics. We described all of the necessary steps involved in fire data collection from collection at the incident to reporting at the European level as well as guidance on how to collect data. The outputs generated by this project should increase awareness about the importance of a common terminology that will generate the foundations for a harmonized fire statistics at European level. When surveying views of fire regulators of all Member States, it was shown that at least 19 countries are in favour of providing harmonised fire statistics for collection at European level. The next step should then be to implement at least the five first proposed variables (or more) as part of an experimental phase of the implementation process. In parallel, there should be a structure at the European level which can receive national fire statistics on an annual basis, with the necessary resources to store, analyse and publish data from the various countries. Finally, standardization process seems necessary for providing a recognised basis for the proposed values and their corresponding definitions and to facilitate the dissemination to all Member States.

Finally, it will be useful for a leading group of countries to implement the proposal in order to demonstrate its utility. This will facilitate the ability of stakeholders to generate data, use them to chart and publicize trends, and build public recognition and support of fire safety policies and initiatives.

Read the full report here

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